French dietary food group Nutrition & Santé is to buy Lactalis's free-from subsidiary Valpiform.

Nutrition & Santé expects to close the deal by the end of the month. The value of the transaction has not been disclosed.

Set up in 1990, Valpiform is one of France's leading firms in the free-from segment and its products are sold in both supermarkets, as well as in health and food stores.

A spokesman for dairy giant Lactalis told just-food gluten and allergy-free products had less of a place in its business. "In Nutrition & Santé, it is joining a major player in this segment," he said.

Valpiform generates 40% of its annual turnover of around EUR10m from exports and is strong in Italy and the Benelux countries.

Nutrition & Santé president Didier Suberbielle said the acquisition of Valpiform "will strengthen our position as European leader for dietary food and confirms our commitment to seeking out growth opportunites in our core markets".